naval affairs

NAC News – Edition K499

NAC News – Edition K499

D.E. Howard

Your weekly national and international naval news for the week of February 3rd, 2023

Edition: K499 HMCS Huntsville (WWII Castle Class corvette…inglorious demise)

Quote:  “There will be no serious discussions on the F-16s or NATO membership or much else until after the [Turkish] elections.” 20 January 2023 Aslı Aydıntaşbaş, Al-Monitor     (Editor – election scheduled for 18 June 2023)

Rod Hughes

Editor NAC News  (Comments welcome to help improve this service.)

Links to keep in touch with the NAC and RCN can be found at the bottom of this email.  Contact Kevin Goheen if you wish someone to be added to the NAC News email distribution. (Influencer or good candidates to become a NAC member, and note the first year’s NAC & Branch membership dues are waived)


RCN: Canada’s Naval Reserve celebrates centennial in 2023  You can find information on activities planned in all the NRDs on the UNTDA website along with the programme and on-line registration for a major conference and celebration organized by the UNTD in Victoria 9-12 May 2023Cross Canada listing of Events taking place during the Centennial of the Canadian Naval Reserve in 2023

NEW The Canadian Naval Tribute Project (Editor – the Project has an impressive new website.  The team is still seeking and accepting donations for this worthy project!)

15 February 2023 The Royal United Services Institute of Nova Scotia extends an invitation to a presentation by Brigadier-General G. Michael Adamson, Commander, 3 Canadian Space Division, titled “3 Canadian Space Division.”  The event will start at 1 pm Atlantic/Halifax time, Wednesday, 15 February, then be followed by Q&A and finish by 3 pm Atlantic time.  To register email by close-of-business Sunday, 12 February.  As the subject line for your registration email, put: RUSI(NS) Distinguished Speaker 15 February 2023 Registration.  In addition to your name, please provide your organization (agency/directorate, unit, association, or company).

The Vice-Admiral (Ret’d) Peter Cairns Award was created to recognize and honour Canadian innovators and trailblazers in the shipbuilding industry who have made inspiring contributions to Canada, the Canadian Marine sector and the Canadian shipbuilding industry.  Submissions need be completed and submitted to Maritime Affairs Navy League of Canada no later than February 23rd, 2023.  Attention to Committee Chair Mme Louise Mercier.

28 February 2023  ShipTech Forum 2023 8:00 – 18:00 (Ottawa time) The ShipTech Forum is a hybrid conference with virtual access too.  It is intended to showcase emerging technologies, address a range of marine and shipbuilding issues as well as ship repair and the advantages they provide for growth and export.  To register visit  All serving Naval & Public sector Personnel can register for Free!  Discount for NAC members who wish to purchase a ticket, we will supply you with a discount code ($50 savings from regular rate).  Discount of $175 for NAC members who wish to purchase a booth.  One complimentary ticket for a NAC representative to attend (value of $425)

NEW  It’s Time to Recommission the UNTD Association with a New Name.  At the November 2022 Annual General Meeting, UNTDA members voted unanimously to broaden Association membership to welcome both active and retired Naval Reservists of all ranks into full membership.    The search for that new name is open to all current members and prospective new members.   Submit your suggestions to until March 1, 2023, when they will be compiled and reviewed to determine a short list or top contender to be presented to the membership at the AGM in Victoria in May.

Canadian Naval Review holds an annual essay competition. A prize of $1,000 is awarded for the best essay, provided by the Canadian Naval Memorial Trust. The winning essay will be published in CNR.  Deadline for the 2023 Competition: 30 May 2023 (Third item down at link)



‘History will tell’ if Canada’s military facing new decade of darkness: defence chief (Editor – includes 10:23 min video)

Poland boosts defence spending over war in Ukraine

Putin discusses Russia’s claim to giant chunk of Arctic Ocean seabed



Why Canada’s military matters

David E. Howard obituary (Editor – born 5 March 1918 – passed 21 Jan 2023, not a NAC member, but given the Reserves centenary, respects go to a dashing young RCNVR corvette officer (HMCS Dundas) who accomplished much in his life)

Naval Reserve Centennial (1923 – 2023) (Editor – 3:34 RCN video)

Type 26 Frigate Promises Naval Interchangeability

Concern raised over flooding onboard aging Canadian Navy ship (Editor – 1:49 mi video)

CDR Radio Podcasts – latest #32 is with the Hon. Anita Anand MND (Editor – 15:42)

Canadian Coast Guard Autonomous Systems and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Program

Canadian Navy vice-admiral dons England Rugby shirt after losing bet on Red Roses win

Grant will allow Maritime Museum to digitize maps, ships’ plans

Take the plunge as a Clearance Diver! Faites le grand saut en tant que plongeur-démineur! #ytshorts (Editor – 30 sec RCN video)

Backlog targeted as Veterans Affairs reports nearly $1B for ex-soldiers was unspent

Canadian soldier facing formal sex charge following private prosecution hearing brought by another soldier

Liberal government tell Defence Department to drop appeal of military class-action deadline extension

IMO Moves to Curb Shipping Noise that Threatens Marine Life

Lookout: Volume 68, Issue 4, January 30, 2023 with article Canada’s Naval Reserve celebrates centennial



USNI News Fleet and Marine Tracker: Jan. 30, 2023

Super Bowl flyover to celebrate 50 years of women flying in the US Navy

U.S. Coast Guard Responds to Deadly Surge in Migration at Sea

New Commanders Nominated to Lead Pacific, Middle East Fleets

GAO Report on Increase in Cost of U.S. Navy Ship Operations (Editor – details and graphics paint a daunting picture)

New Navy sub program could be at risk of not being delivered on time in 2027

Navy Destroyer Modernization Program Could Cost $17B, Take Up to 2 Years Per Hull

Report to Congress on Hypersonic Missile Defense (Editor – a short but intriguing report)

Textron’s Aerosonde UAS takes debut flight from USS Miguel Keith

How Do Nuclear Submarines Make Oxygen #Shorts (Editor – 30 sec video)

DARPA Awards Contracts for Long-Range ‘Liberty Lifter’ Flying Boat Design and I couldn’t resist adding this one The Strangest Aircraft Ever Built: The Soviet Union’s VVA-14 (Editor – 11:21 min video)

BIW Delivers Flight IIA Destroyer Carl Levin (DDG 120) To US Navy

Iran Navy frigate IRIS Dena in sails for Rio de Janeiro in Brazil

Let it grow: Sailors, Marines disgruntled by beard ban find favorable reception to challenges

U.S. Coast Guard Cracks Down on Northwest’s AIS-Disabling Fishermen

Navy Closes 4 Puget Sound Submarine Dry Docks Following Earthquake Risk Study



Air Force general predicts war with China in 2025, tells officers to prep by firing ‘a clip’ at a target, and ‘aim for the head’

US secures deal on bases to complete arc around China

U.S., South Korea Pledge to Expand Military Cooperation; NATO and Japan Deepen Ties

PLA Navy destroyer conducts solo sailing stretching over 10,000 nautical miles

Russia Rules Out Talks With Japan On Fishing Near Disputed Islands

U.S. Demonstrates Military Might in Beijing’s Backyard and USS Nimitz Back in the South China Sea After Singapore Port Visit

China’s Type 054B Next-Gen Frigate Under Construction?

Ageing fleet, expired contracts, China— India has a submarine issue, Project 75 not helping then Torpedoing a Submarine Rumour then more details France gives India’s subs a stealthy tech boost

PLA Navy auxiliary ships that support South China Sea frontiers make public appearance

The Impact of Autonomous Tech on Peacetime Naval Missions

First Australian Coal Cargoes Headed to China Since Unofficial Ban Lifted

Naval Group & Piriou Continue French Navy Overseas Service




Ukraine war: Russia planning 24 February offensive, Ukrainian defence minister says

Ukraine war: 80 years on, we are facing German tanks again – Putin

The U.S. says the Wagner Group is a transnational criminal organization. Here’s why

Mark Hertling – Russia Is At Point Of No Return – Russia Has 1 Week To Decide (Editor – not a maritime story but a useful perspective on the overall war in a 8:17 min video)

British mercenaries who trained Kiev’s forces in maritime sabotage eliminated in Ochakov ((Editor – TASS article)


HMS Prince of Wales: Second shaft problem adds to repair list for aircraft carrier

New autonomous £40m mine-hunting mothership arrives at HMNB Devonport

Turkey to build three Istanbul-class vessels concurrently

Government insist ‘no plans’ to scrap Type 32 Frigate

Royal Navy’s second Type 31 frigate, HMS Active begins build (Editor – 2:24 min video)

French Navy’s logistic support ship (LSS) Jacques Chevallier has completed its first sea trial sequence.

French Navy is erasing pennant numbers on its LHDs

German Navy receives final Sea Lion helicopter

Royal Navy Begins NSM Anti-Ship Missile Upgrade On Type 23 Frigate

Generating workforce for FSS programme will be a challenge: UK officials and

Harland & Wolff Signs Subcontract with Navantia for Fleet Support Ship

Italian Navy OPV Thaon di Revel Returns to La Spezia after First Long-Distance Mission

Third new Norwegian Coast Guard vessel arrives

Report: Workers Glued Sheared Bolts Back Together on Nuclear Sub

Russian Crude Exports Flow to Asia and Russia’s Oil Cargoes Surge Ahead of EU Import Ban while European Union to Consider Options to Curb Revenues from Russian Energy Exports

Black Sea Cables to Slake Europe’s Thirst for Energy

Pilots Prevent Grounding After 20,000 TEU Boxship Loses Power (Editor – professional pilots)



French special forces seize thousands of Iranian rifles, missiles on smuggling ship

U.S. Hosts Lebanese Navy for Vessel Boarding Course in Bahrain

USCG Cutter Makes First Drug Seizure of 2023 in Gulf of Oman

Juniper Oak Exercise Reveals New Naval Capability (Editor – Israeli navy is the main topic of a 14:54 min video)

UK Frigate Forward-Deployment Programme: Demonstrating value through improved availability

LNG Carrier Grounds in Suez Canal



Lonely Lavrov invites Arctic colleagues to Siberia, but no one will come

Spanish Police Seize Livestock Carrier With 4.5 Tonnes of Cocaine (Editor – yet another one)

Russian Antarctic Vessel Docks In South Africa As Green Groups Protest

Italian Icebreaker Sets Record Reaching Furthest Point South

How undersea cables may affect marine life

White paper by Bureau Veritas details alternative fuels for the shipping industry, considering technological maturity, availability, safety, emissions and regulations.

Annual West Africa Obangame Exercise gets underway (Editor -Canadian Participants)

SH Diana Floats as Surge in Expedition Cruise Ships Nears an End

Photos: U.S. Coast Guard Icebreaker Reaches Antarctica’s McMurdo Station



Germany’s Super Sub, the Type XXI U-Boat | Sails and Salvos (Editor – 20:20 min video)

The Perisher Story (Editor –  This site was pointed out to me for a 1:43:41 hr video.  In 1917 the Periscope Course was started to give submarine commanding officers sufficient practice in attacking.  However, I also noticed this other 1:24:30 hr video Canadian Naval Art and War with NAC member John Horton)



4 February 1942  The unescorted Canadian tanker MV Montrolite was hit in the stern by a torpedo, followed minutes later by a coup de grace torpedo fired from U-109 about 325 nm northeast of Bermuda.  27 crew members and 1 gunner were killed.  The 21 survivors were rescued by the merchant ship SS Winkleigh.

5 February 1942  The Canadian Pacific Steamships Ltd. passenger ship RMS Empress of Asia (an armed merchant cruiser and troopship under the Admiralty’s Liner Requisition Scheme) was sailing from Bombay to Singapore.  Embarked were troops and supplies to reinforce Singapore in the face of the rapid Japanese advances and their recent conquest of British Malaya.  The Empress was in convoy BM-12 and within eyesight of her destination, when she became the enemy’s primary target among the five merchant ships in the convoy.  Nine Japanese dive-bombers focused their assault on the Empress of Asia. She eventually sank after anchoring and burning on the Sultan Shoal at the entrance to Singapore.  Sixteen passengers were killed.  The 1884 survivors were rescued by HMAS Yarra, HMAS Bendigo, and HMAS Wollongong.

5 February 1944  HMS Puncher, an aircraft carrier, is commissioned into the Royal Navy at Vancouver with a Canadian crew, but a British air complement.

6 February 1941  SS Maplecourt was the first Canadian registered merchant ship to be sunk during WW2.  The freighter (with 3604 tons of cargo, including 1540 tons of steel) was one of 38 ships in slow convoy SC-20 which departed Halifax on 22 Jan 1941.  The armed merchant cruiser HMS Ranpura was the sole mid-ocean escort.  On 2 Feb, before nearing the Western Approaches, Ranpura broke off and returned to Halifax.  Five RN Ships (destroyer Harvester; corvettes Arbuties, Camellia and Erica; and the armed yacht Philante) then became escorts.  Five merchant ships were sunk before the convoy reached Liverpool.  Maplecourt had been a straggler when she was torpedoed by U-107 on 6 Feb 1941.  She rapidly sank about 360 nm west of Northern Ireland.  The crew of 38 were lost.

6 February 6, 1943 – Italian aircraft attack and sink RCN Flower Class corvette HMCS Louisbourg east of Oran while she is escorting a convoy from Gibraltar to Bone, Algeria; 2 Officers, 35 crew, and 5 RN seaman are lost.

8 February 1943  HMCS Regina commanded by LCdr Harry Freeland, RCNR sinks the Italian submarine Avorio in the Mediterranean Sea.

9 February 1941  HMS Mayflower and Snowberry (with Canadian COs) departed Halifax as local escort for the 47-ship convoy HX-108, bound for Liverpool.  Both ships were Flower-class corvettes.  Both ships had recently been delivered from Canadian shipyards and were subsequently completed in British yards on the Tyne River.  Mayflower was fitted with a ‘dummy’ 4-inch gun built of wood for the transit to the U.K., an infamous example of the inferior condition of the early wartime Emergency Expansion Plan warships of the RCN.  Although guns were acquired later, technological inferiority plagued the RCN until relatively late in the war.  269 Flower class corvettes (total varies by source) were built in British and Canadian yards, 123 vessels achieving service in the RCN’s fleet.  They were operated by British, Canadian, French and US navies.  Despite a very high number being built they were built in many different yards, the design constantly evolved due to operational experience and technical innovation throughout the vessel’s service life, and it was uncommon for any to be alike in either configuration or appearance.

10 February 1942  HMCS Spikenard is torpedoed by U136 and sunk in the North Atlantic.  There were only eight survivors and 57 perished.

SIGNIFICANT RCN DATES – If you see any omissions or errors please inform me, and any more modern significant dates are also welcomed.  The list draws primarily from the Directory of History and Heritage’s comprehensive “Significant Dates in Canadian Military History”, the now defunct “Canada Channel”, “Legion Magazine”, The Naval Service of Canada, Its Official History Vol 1-3, NAC member Roger Litwiller’s excellent web site, encyclopedic guidance from NAC member Fraser McKee, the site, and anywhere else I can find credible information.  For the merchant ship history, a special thanks to NAC member Bill Dziadyk for his able assistance and detailed work.  The RCN lost 1,965 men and 24 ships during the War, most of them in the Atlantic.  A comprehensive list of the staggering merchant losses – sunk, damaged, or lost – Canadian Merchant Ship Losses of the Second World War, 1939-1945 by Rob Fisher {Revised June 2001}, and for the loss of individual personnel RCN Ship Histories, Convoy Escort Movements, Casualty Lists 1939-1947)

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